Fuzzy

In an earlier post, I told you about my first big crush and how I had to shake his hand at church which nearly ended my life.  And, I also told you that I would tell you about my next big crush.

Today, I’m gonna tell you about that crush and how I have never forgotten him.  You read how scary becoming a freshman was for me and that I survived that first year.  In my freshman year, one of my study halls was in the school library.  I tell ya, we had one mean librarian because if you made a sound, she gave you a look that would absolutely melt you into the ground.

One day I walked into the library and there he was just quietly reading or he may have been studying.  And oh, he was the cutest boy I had ever seen; well the cutest since my first crush anyway.  I didn’t have any idea what his name was and was not about to go up and introduce myself to him.  I mean, you just didn’t go up and ask someone who they were and tell them they were cuter than anybody else in the world; or at least, I didn’t do that.

I told my friends all about him and they later told me his name and that he played on the basketball team.  Well, okay, that was not good because there was no way a basketball player would give this little skinny, freckled-face girl a second look.  But, there was no reason that I couldn’t secretly like him and dream that someday he would pass up the most gorgeous girl for me.

It wasn’t long before the whole school somehow knew that I had a big crush on this boy; and some his friends started teasing me about him.  They even started calling me “Fuzzy” because that it was his nickname.  Eventually, I found out why they called him that; and no, I won’t tell you why.  I’m sure they teased him too although he never let on when we met in the hall.  When he was a senior, he signed my annual and wrote something really nice.  He had known all along but was kind enough not to make me feel really stupid.  I remember one day I met him in the hall and he put his baseball cap on my head (he played baseball too).  Oh yeah baby, that made my day!

I later married one of his classmates. One night after church, we stopped at the Dairy Queen to get some ice cream.  My husband went in to get our ice cream; and when he came out, he had someone with him.  They walked to my side of the car and my husband asked, “Do you know who this is?”

Oh geez, it was him!  No longer the shy freckled-face girl, I said, “this is the man I have loved all my life.”

We all had a good laugh at that and talked for quite a while.  He and his wife had become missionaries and were doing really great.  I later ran into him at a basketball game and he told me he had written a book.  He actually sent an autographed copy to me; and yes, I still have it.

I carried the name “Fuzzy” all through high school.  At one of our class reunions a few years ago, all those goofy guys were still calling me “Fuzzy.”  I guess my gravestone will read, “Here Lies Fuzzy.”

See ya next Wednesday.

 

 

Starting High School

I don’t know about you, but I was excited and a little scared about going to high school.  I mean, I had spent eight years at the same school with all the same friends and teachers.  Now, having to go to a new school with all new surroundings was a little daunting.  And, having a couple of high school girls tell you some terrible things you would have to do did not help at all.  Do you know what they told us?  We were required to take PE at least two years, which I loved; but these girls told us that on the first day, we would have to walk to the half line in the gym with our tops off and walk the second half with our bottoms off.  They also said that people would be in the gym and would see us.  But, of course, we believed them and went into a tee-total panic.  I guess that’s why freshmen are called “green.”

In grade school, everything was there for you and there really were not many responsibilities that were required of you with the exception of showing up everyday and doing your homework.  I have to add here that I have never been a math person; as a matter of fact, I’m dumber than a rock when it comes to math.  Reading problems really killed me; I just didn’t understand them.  One time my dad sat down with me to help me with some reading problems.  When he explained one to me, it made a lot of sense; however, he asked me to explain it back to him and my eyes glazed over.  It didn’t make sense any more and he wasn’t happy with me.  When I was in eighth grade, we had counselors to come from the high school to help us decide what classes we would be taking our freshman year.  Naturally, they put me in Algebra I for my freshman year.

So, in 1962 I started my freshman year at North Marshall High School.  My friends and I caught a bus at Sharpe Elementary School that took us to the high school.  In high school, you had to know where all your classes were located and also had to make sure you got to your classes on time.  And, my friends and I didn’t take the same classes so I was pretty much on my own.

It wasn’t so bad because I met all kinds of nice kids from other schools and finding my classes wasn’t hard at all.  My biggest problem was that when I went to the cafeteria for lunch, the line was so long that I decided that I wouldn’t have time to eat and make my next class.  So, I skipped lunch that first day and thought I was gonna starve to death before I got home.  My mom pretty much beat me up (not physically) for doing such a stupid thing as not eating and told me real quick that I had better not skip lunch anymore.  The next day I got with some friends and we waited in line just like everyone else and had plenty of time to eat and get to our next class and I never missed lunch again.

My freshman year was pretty ordinary.  You remember I told you last week that I had another big crush?  Well, I did get my next big crush my freshman year.  I’ll have to tell you about that one in another story.

Oh, and we did not have to walk across the gym with our clothes off.

See ya next Wednesday.

 

Growing Tobacco

As I told you in an earlier post, Sharpe and the surrounding area was close knit where everyone knew their neighbors and looked out for one another.  Most folks were farmers and grew tobacco, corn and/or soy beans.  Families grew enough crops to feed an army, but this was done so food could be shared among families and friends.  Also, the ladies would have enough vegetables to freeze and can for the winter months. Tobacco was one of the biggest crops that was grown in our area and most all the farmers had tobacco fields.  Each farmer helped the other when it came time to plant, sucker and cut tobacco.

Uncle Franklin had a huge tobacco crop every year as did his neighbors.  To begin with, he would build a tobacco plant bed early in the spring.  He would clean off a spot about 12 feet wide and probably 36 feet long and plow it up.  He then surrounded it with some sort of wood, planted the tobacco seeds in the ground and covered the whole thing with cheese cloth. After the plants matured and the weather warmed, the cheese cloth was removed from the beds.  The mature plants were then transplanted to the tobacco field, usually by hand.

As the tobacco was growing, the grass and weeds were also growing.  So, the tobacco patch had to be hoed nearly every day. The plants also had to be suckered. Suckering was the removal of sprouts at each junction of leaf and stalk. This was done while watching for black widow spiders and snakes that might be resting under a leaf. The tobacco worms also had to be removed from the plants.  Usually, the boys of the family helped with suckering and worm removal and it’s a good thing because I’m here to tell you that I wouldn’t have touched one of those worms for all the money in the world.

When it was time to cut, or harvest tobacco, farm wagons would be stationed under trees in the front or back yard of the host family and the neighborhood ladies would cook a big meal for the men who were working the field.  Cut plants or pulled leaves were transferred to tobacco barns where they would be fire-cured. Fire-cured tobacco is hung in large barns where fires of hardwoods are kept on continuous or intermittent low smolder and takes between three days and ten weeks, depending on the process and the tobacco.  And there’s nothing that smells any better than tobacco being cured.  After tobacco is cured, it is moved from the curing barn into a storage area for processing.  Once the tobacco is processed, it is taken to the market to be sold.

Today, everything is done with machines and pesticides; I’m not sure how much tobacco is even grown nowadays.  But back then, it was just a part of growing up in the country.

See ya next Wednesday.

My First Crush

Oh gosh, do you remember your first crush?  I was in the Fifth Grade at Sharpe Elementary School when I first fell in love.  My crush was two years older than I, had black hair, brown eyes; and to me, was the cutest boy that I had ever seen in my entire life. He also played on the basketball team.  Of course, he didn’t even know that I existed; I mean, a stupid little fifth grader who was skinny and had freckles?

I would just get all giggly whenever I saw him.  Of course my friends knew all about it because they had crushes too. During recess, I would sit on the bleachers and watch him and his friends play basketball and wished desperately that he would notice me.

Mawdie, my grandmother, was a member of the baptist church. Since we always worshipped at the church of Christ, we never went to the baptist church. But, one summer, the church where my grandmother worshipped, had a big revival. She asked my mom and me to go with her.  Wouldn’t you just know that my crush also went to that same church.  I knew this before we went but figured that I probably wouldn’t even see him there.

The minister preached his sermon and songs were sung by the choir and the congregation.  At the end of the service, the minister said, “let us all greet one another.”  What he meant was that everyone was to meet everyone else and shake hands.  Oh dear Lord, my crush was there and I would have to shake his hand.  I thought I was gonna have a stroke just thinking about it.  I mean, having a crush on him was one thing, but to have to touch him was another and I wasn’t prepared for that.

So, the members at the church formed a line down the aisle and as we got up from the bench, we had to pass through all of them and shake their hands.  Yep, you guessed it, there he was in line and I had to actually touch his hand.  Boy howdy, I thought I was going to wet my pants!  Naturally, he didn’t even give me a second glance, but I was in hog heaven.  I swore I would never wash that hand again.

Well, I survived my first crush and went on to have many more.  In my freshman year of high school, I had my second big crush.  It was huge and I have never forgotten him.  But, that is a story in itself and I will tell you about that one another time.

See ya next Wednesday.